OMA’s Plans for “Iconic” Qatar National Library

  • 30 Nov 2012
  • by
  • Architecture News Editor's Choice
Courtesy of National Library (

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has announced the launch of the Qatar National Library (QNL), to be designed by Rem Koolhaas of .

The QNL, a public access library, will symbolically connect the country’s past and future. As her highness explained: “The library’s vision of bridging with knowledge Qatar’s heritage and future demonstrates the significant role QNL will play in unlocking human potential as Qatar builds a knowledge-based economy. A modern dynamic National Library for the country is essential in reaching this goal.”

As such, Rem Koolhass – an architect known both for his iconic structures as well as his success with the Seattle Public Library - has been hand-picked for the important design, soon to be, according to the QNL website, ”one of the most [...] iconic landmarks in Qatar and the region.” As a library on the cutting-edge of digital archiving, the building will require innovative facilities (including over 300 public computers, wifi and multi-media production studios); however, it will also serve the community as a relaxed, social gathering place.

More images of OMA’s plans for the Qatar National Library, after the break….

Courtesy of Qatar National Library (

According to Dr. Claudia Lux, the QNL Project Director : “[The QNL will be] a place between home and work, where all Qataris can meet friends, enjoy moments with their families and spend leisure and creative time in their personal journey in search of knowledge and cultural experiences.”

The QNL will include public computer workstations, digital media production facilities, a variety of collaborative and individual learning spaces, a Children’s Library, performance spaces, and café. It will open in late 2014.

Story via the QNL Website 

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "OMA’s Plans for “Iconic” Qatar National Library" 30 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Hah

    Silly architects. We’re still building physical libraries? In Qatar? Ok then.

  • Javen Jiao

    the rendering looks so……

  • Javen Jiao

    the rendering looks so…..

  • Ryan

    Ouch. Is OMA hiring highschool students to produce renderings now?

  • Agustín

    I’d like OMA to materialize Koolhaas’ incredible project for the Tres Grande Bibliotheque or the Jussieu Libraries… but this seems to have nothing to do with those revolutionary projects!!

  • Jamie

    I wonder how wide this ‘knowledge’ they were banging on about will stretch. Any Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens to expand their knowledge? Wonder if they’ll even have the Bible or the Torah..

  • Marcellus_B

    a long time i’ve wanted that someone exposed R. Koolhaas / OMA as the fraudster he is / they are. Now there is no need anymore. It is made public by himself / themselves.

  • Chris

    Is it a contrary response to the requirement that it be “iconic”? Kinda looks like a big open warehouse inside. I don’t mind the renders so much as the lack of spaces and the lack of info..

  • post

    yeah, renderings look like a sketchup training course – doesn’t present well. But maybe that’s his new trick, reverse the trend.

    As much as I respect Koolhaas, I am starting to think many of his proposals hinge far to much on generalized assumptions or theory and singular notions. They often do not translate well in the built environment. I think the Koolhaas era is coming to an end….

    But I am very much in favor of the idea that building ‘perform’ better than they currently do.

  • cbooo

    Looks vacant and cold. Missing a soul, as strange and plastic as the soul of Koolhaas can be, I find it completely absent here. It’s like they gave an intern a couple of days on his/her own to get “something” ready.

  • Luis de Souza

    Great, another empty building in the Middle East. Look at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The level of cultural transference between the Arab world the rest is minimal, very few books are translated into arabic and most arab countries live up oppressive regimes. Until the arab world is freed from religion they are doomed to fail.

  • udu

    why for? who will go to SEE the books? foreigners?


  • Fadi Jaouni

    Can’t believe this is an OMA project, disappointing…